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The league table of the CSA T20 has started to open up nicely. Most teams are within touching distance of each other indicative of a well-contested tournament. This match is going to be between two teams that are placed second and fifth in the table but separated from just two points. The Warriors are going to be playing against the Lions in a match which has more significance for the Warriors.
Both sides have lost just one match in the tournament but rain meant that the Warriors were unable to get the full points in one of their matches. The Lions have won two of their three matches, including their last one, and arrive into this contest with good form at their back.
The Warriors played their previous match against the Cape Cobras and were demolished by a brilliant century from Janneman Malan. Batting first, the Warriors made just 151 from their 20 overs. It was a batting performance that left a lot to be desired. It lacked any sort of momentum and none of the batsmen for the Warriors were able to make a big score.
There were only two batsmen that score more than 20 runs although there were five others that went past 10. This shows that batsmen were getting starts and then throwing their wickets away.
The Warriors will need to be better than this when they take on the Lions in their upcoming fixture. Gihahn Cloete and JJ Smuts are the two batsmen that need to take the lead in this batting lineup. They are among the most experienced players and have been in pretty good form this season as well.
Matthew Breetzke, Marco Marais, and some other useful batsmen are present in the side as well to give the Warriors a very decent batting lineup.
The bowling of the Warriors was flayed to all parts of the ground in the previous match. In fact, the bowling has been taken apart in both the matches that the Warriors have played so far. They were lucky to have been bailed out by Cloete in the first match otherwise they could have easily lost both of those matches.
Andrew Birch, Sisanda Magala, JJ Smuts, and Lutho Sipamla have been collectively poor and need to find a way to improve their bowling performances. The Lions have a strong batting lineup which could feast on the Warriors bowling if they continue in the same vein.
Gihahn Cloete, Matthew Breetzke, Marco Marais, Sinethemba Qeshile, Lesiba Ngoepe, JJT Smuts, Andrew Birch, Jade de Klerk, Onke Nyaku, Lutho Sipamla, SSB Magala.
The Lions came into the CSA T20 Challenge as one of the teams to watch out for on the strength of its batting. An average performance in the previous match could have had it in trouble but the Lions bowling unit stood up and showed what it could do.
None of the big names in the Lions batting unit clicked in the previous match. Reeza Hendricks was out first ball while other South African nationals like Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, and Wiaan Mulder did not contribute either.
It was down to a good inning from Ryan Rickelton and Dwaine Pretorius to help lift the score to 150. That was not a very big total on the surface and the Lions would have definitely been worried at the change of the inning.
However, a brilliant bowling performance helped the Lions register a comfortable victory by 40 runs in the end. Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, and Malusi Siboto all bowled very well to restrict the Knights to just 110.
Fortuin and Siboto took three wickets each while Beuran Hendricks ensured that the run-rate kept rising with some very economic bowling.
The Lions bowling attack was up against one of the weakest batting units in the competition last time around. They will know that the Warriors are going to put up a much stronger fight and this could mean for a much sterner test for the bowling lineup.
All in all, though, the Lions have a well-balanced side that has got off to a good start in the tournament without its best batsmen actually even contributing. The best is yet to come for this side for sure.
Ryan Rickelton, Reeza Hendricks, RVD Dussen, Temba Bavuma, PWA Mulder, Dwaine Pretorius, Wihan Lubbe, Bjorn Fortuin, Aaron Phangiso, MP Siboto, B Hendricks.
The team winning the toss is likely to want to bat second with all the rain around
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The CSA T20 challenge match between the Warriors and the Lions is going to be played at Buffalo Park, East London. There is a lot of rain forecast in East London on match day and so we could have another rain-interrupted contest to see. The chances of a complete washout are also pretty high.
The surface at Buffalo Park is okay for batting. It is one of the slower surfaces in South Africa and the batsmen tend to struggle on it. With a lot of rain around the outfield is going to get heavier and be more difficult to get boundaries as well, if we get any play that is.
While the prospect of rain and DLS is very real, we cannot take that into account right now. Assuming that a full contest is played out between the two sides, the Lions definitely have the better side and should be able to win this pretty easily.
Back the Lions to win.
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